For the last 24 years, engineers have gathered at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) for the latest trends and technology in RF/microwave/mm-wave/THz technology and applications. This year the symposium has made its way to Boston, Mass., and features the theme “The Hub of Microwaves.” IMS offers a combination of Microwave Industry Exhibition showcasing more than 600 companies and a week-long technical program. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s program.
IMS 2019 kicked off Monday, June 3, with a plenary session titled, “The Mind and Body of Intelligent RF,” by Dr. William Chappell, special assistant to the director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which focused on what is required in hardware to keep up with the goals for artificial intelligence (AI) and the RF spectrum and where they intersect. Dr. Chappell also reviewed the outcomes of the ongoing DARPA challenge, Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2), which is looking at using intelligent RF to explore a fixed spectrum allocation without a spectrum manager. This challenge uses radios to autonomously function as a mind, to interact with the physical world.
Monday also featured an RF boot camp workshop to introduce IMS newcomers to the microwaves industry. Industry experts and top academic minds passed along their knowledge of RF/microwave systems, simulation and network design, network and spectrum analysis, microwave antenna, and radar basics.
Tuesday’s technical program continues by putting the spotlight on 5G—the latest wireless technology promising to enhance speed and capabilities. With a series of talks and a panel discussion, IMS brought the IEEE 5G Summit to center stage. The summit began with a talk titled “Driving the 5G NR enhanced mobile broadband evolution” by John Smee, VP Engineering, Qualcomm Inc., which explores the ways 5G is already affecting our wireless experiences and what we can expect from what’s to come.
The session moved on to Ahmed Khalil, director of Design Engineering, ADI, with “Bits to Beams – RF Technology Evolution for 5G mmWave Radios.” In this presentation, Khalil reviews the changes to radio architectures and how their evolution can provide solutions to some of the challenges in adopting new technologies. The summit continued with “Sub 6 GHz 5G mMIMO HMIC the Ultimate Solution to FEM Design Challenges” by Walter Honcharenko, MACOM, which examines key design challenges for front end modules (FEM). Next came “Commercializing 5G mm-WAVE Arrays: Technical and Economic Factors” by Alastair Upton and Nitin Jain, Anokiwave, who discussed the technical and economic factors related to commercializing 5G mmWave arrays.
Finally, the summit turned to Dr. Sidharth Balasubramanian, director RF engineering, who delivered a presentation titled, “Hyperdense Deployments with 5G Millimeter wave,” which takes a look at the difficulties of deploying 5G millimeter-wave systems in densely trafficked areas. The summit wrapped up with a panel discussion on “How do we make 5G commercially viable,” which included the speakers who gave presentations at the summit.
IMS offered a host of additional panel sessions, exploring topics such as, “Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) take away my job as an RF/Analog Designer?” organized by Osama Shanaa, MediaTek, Inc. and Francois Rivet, Univ. of Bordeaux. Wednesday’s panel session was organized by Omeed Momeni, UC Davis and Ruonan Han, MIT and covers the topic of the growing drive for wireless communication technology in “100 Gb/s Wireless Link: How do We Get There and What are the Future Applications?” The final panel session, “In-Band Full-Duplex: Is It Really Going to Happen?” organized by Kenneth E. Kolodziej, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the panelists discuss whether In-Band Full-Duplex technology will ever leave the laboratory, expand upon its potential deployment hurdles, and debate when it may start to appear in tomorrow’s wireless devices.
IMS 2019 closed its technical program, June 6, with a keynote from Dina Katabi, Andrew & Erna Viterbi professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT, titled “Health Monitoring with Machine Learning and Wireless Sensors.” Katabi discussed the growing number of aging people and the burdens they placed on our health care system. She also introduced Emerald, a new technology that uses machine learning for health monitoring in the home. Emerald automates health monitoring through innovations in wireless sensing and machine learning.